A13 ARTSCAPE: GALE STREET SUBWAY


A13 Subway, norrthern entrance A13 subway Niche sculpture
A13 subway exit Arches A13 subway at night
Passing beneath the A13, the Gale Street subway provides a vital pedestrian link between Scrattons Farm Estate and Dagenham via Gale Street at Castle Green. The original brief involved a redesign of this key facility; however, after an initial site visit, the artist persuaded the commissioning bodies that the brief should be expanded to include a substantial reconstruction of both approachways. The final design includes the creation of two park areas, planting, landscaping and architectural features as well as the creation of ten original niche sculptures placed within the newly retiled and illuminated subway, making this one of the largest and most extensive A13 Artscape projects.
 
The intention has been to supply a sense of continuity and belonging to an environment otherwise stripped of historical references. Inspired by London's Roman past, the terraced park areas evoke the culturally rich atmosphere and architecture of the Mediterranean by means of stone work, blind arches, lighting and planting. The tiling of the subway has been designed to reflect the styles of Victorian museums and the London Underground, while set into the walls are ten niche sculptures; made of coloured resin set in steel frames with integral LED lighting, the sculptures function as memory cabinets, referencing and commemorating local historical events from pre-historical times to the recent industrial past. Four specially designed light markers on the highway level are the only indicators of the existence of Scratton Farm Estate and the otherwise unseen excavations and subterranean tunnel below the level of the road surface.